(NaturalHealth365) To me, herbs simply represent another (healthy) food to eat – on a regular basis – to increase your energy and prevent disease. Herbs are foods that help to improve immunity, brain function and overall vitality. But, most importantly, herbs represent a great way to incorporate the divine intelligence of the plant kingdom into our daily lives.
Why am I so tired after sleeping all night?
One of the first (and most interesting) things I learned – when studying macrobiotics, nearly 25 years ago, was that a lack of energy was the first sign of disease. Naturally, I’m not talking about the kind of fatigue that hits you after a long day at work. But, if you’ve slept 7-8 hours and still feel tired, day after day, something is wrong.
Many people resort to a “quick-fix” like, drinking coffee or other instant energy drinks – which do provide a boost but, eventually, the energy drains out fast and can lead to more serious health problems like, adrenal fatigue. Fortunately, we have a natural solution with tonic herbs that can restore your energy in subtle, yet powerful ways.
Of course, if you suffer from serious health conditions, always consult a trusted, healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet. Having said that, here are some of my favorite herbs:
Siberian ginseng, also known as Eleutherococcus senticosus, is a thorny shrub popular in Northeast Asia used as an herbal tonic to alleviate stress and fatigue. Botanist Ben-Erik van Wyk and Michael Wink, in their book “Medicinal Plants of the World”, mentioned that this special herb bas been used by Russian Olympic athletes in order to boost energy and endurance.
Back in 1984. In another book called “Medical Herbalism: The Science Practice of Herbal Medicine”, David Hoffman, a clinical herbalist notes that Siberian ginseng can be considered for prolonged use to ward off exhaustion and stress due to overwork on a long term basis without any side effects.
One study showed that people who took Siberian ginseng for 4 weeks showed a rise in the number of T cells in the body, which means that the herb strengthened their immune system. Other benefits include, cold and flu relief, enhanced mental performance, physical performance and overall quality of life.
Astragalus has been use for thousands of years as a Traditional Chinese Medicine. This herb is typically combined with other substances in order to help the body fight against disease and boost the immune system. Astragalus is termed as an adaptogen, which means that it wards off many forms of stress such as mental, physical and emotional stress – depending on your daily needs.
Astragalus contains antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help the body fight numerous diseases like diabetes and liver problems. It has also been used to prevent colds, low blood pressure, and upper respiratory infections. In the United States, researchers have looked into the possibility of this herb to strengthen the immune system during chemotherapy and studies have suggested that astragalus may reduce a person’s risk for cancer and HIV/AIDS.
Nettle, also referred to as stinging nettle, can provide more energy than one cup of coffee. Usually made into a tea, this herb contains large amounts of minerals and vitamins. Traditionally used for stress reduction and energy, nettle has the added bonus of improving the absorption of iron within the bloodstream.
Published in the journal “Zeitschrift Fur Phytotherapie” for German pharmacists, this study showed that patients who had been drinking nettle tea had more iron in their bloodstream compared to patients who were not given nettle.
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is one of the most important ayurvedic herbs for the treatment of many health conditions that affect the body. Many researchers suggest that Ashwagandha is great for energy, stress reduction and enhancing the immune system.
A study published in “World Journal of Medical Sciences”, in 2009, stated that ashwagandha increases the myocardial energy substrate, which is the energy that allows the healthy functioning of the heart, thus, preventing heart failure.
Maca, one of my favorite foods, is actually a root that helps to balance your hormones. This herb nourishes and stimulates your hypothalamus and pituitary gland to balance the production of hormones from the adrenal, pancreas, thyroid, ovarian and testicular glands. This is extremely important – because hormonal imbalances usually lead to lots of stress – emotionally and psychologically.
Keep in mind, maca does not provide hormones; it simply acts as an adaptogen in order to regulate hormones that are involved with your mood, growth and tissue function. By the way, for you men out there, if you’ve lost your libido – just try a little maca in your next smoothie and see what happens.
Rhodiola has a great influence on your energy levels. A group of medical students who were supplemented with rhodiola during their exams showed significant improvement in performance and concentration compared to students who were not given this herb. In addition, they also showed signs of improved sleep, better mood and overall well-being.
Rhodiola not only fights fatigue, but increases your attention span, improves memory and is also beneficial for people with ADD. Additionally, according to scientific research, rhodiola also enhances immunity, sexual energy and eases depression.
There are so many herbs (not mentioned) that can improve your health – may I suggest you simply choose one herb that appeals to you and get started – as soon as possible. I hope this article has inspired you to experience the difference herbs can make in your life.
About the author: Jonathan Landsman is the managing director of NaturalHealth365.com and host of the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show sponsored by NaturalHealth365.com and NaturalNews.com. Jonathan is helping millions of people worldwide create health and physical fitness through a variety of educational and entertaining articles, teleconference calls, live shows and special events.
“Medicinal Plants of the World”; Ben-Erik van Wyk and Michael Wink; 2009
“Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine”; David Hoffmann; 2003
Iovieno, N., E.D. Dalton, M. Fava, et al. 2010. Second-tier natural antidepressants: Review and critique. Journal of Affective Disorder June 24, 2010
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